During the final two races of the 2021 NHRA Camping World Drag Racing Series season Justin Ashley’s crew chief Mike Green had an extra set of eyes and hands at his disposal. Championship winning crew chief Tommy DeLago, was informally assisting Green as the team made a valiant attempt at winning their first Top Fuel championship in just their second year of competition. Ashley, the 2020 NHRA Rookie of the Year, finished the season in fourth place and team owners Dustin Davis and Ashley considered the season a huge success. Moving into the 2022 NHRA season the Davis, Ashley and Green decided adding DeLago in a more formal capacity would only make the rapidly improving team even stronger.
“Tommy is going to come on board and spend time working on some projects that we believe will increase our performance in 2022. He is really a smart guy who can dive into a project or task and figure it out for us. He can take on all sorts of special projects for us,” said Green, during the PRI Show in Indianapolis. “He will also come to the races to assist with the team at the track. We are excited about it because he is a championship winning crew chief with a wealth of knowledge. This is a great opportunity to add someone to the team that is an experienced, intelligent guy to help us chase this Top Fuel championship.”
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Crew Chief Mike Green (center) and Tommy DeLago (far right) during NHRA Finals in Pomona in 2021 (Photo by Ron Lewis Photography)
With over two decades of experience in the NHRA DeLago was the crew chief of the 2011 Funny Car world champion driven by Matt Hagan. He also was the first crew chief to guide a nitro Funny Car to a pass under four seconds when Hagan broke that barrier running 3.995 seconds at zMax Dragway in 2011. DeLago has experience working with Alexis DeJoria who he tuned to five career wins, including the prestigious U.S. Nationals in Indianapolis in 2014. He has also worked with world champions Shawn Langdon and Cruz Pedregon. He has acted as a consultant to Top Fuel racer Greg Carrillo as well as other drivers throughout his impressive career.
“I am excited about the prospect of working with Mike, Dustin and Justin,” said DeLago. “This is a young team and I am looking forward to contributing to many more wins and eventual championships.”
The Vita C Shot Top Fuel dragster team will begin preparing for the 2022 NHRA Camping World Drag Racing Series with on-track testing in Phoenix in advance of the NHRA Winternationals at Auto Club Raceway at Pomona, February 18-20.